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The barrier's construction began three years ago at the height of Israel-Palestinian violence.
Israel said it was needed to keep out suicide bombers.
Some of the most vocal calls to halt development of E1 - which lies east of Jerusalem - are being made by the pro-peace Israeli group Ir Amim, meaning "City of Peoples.""This cuts any kind of natural Palestinian growth in East Jerusalem off from the West Bank," says Sarah Kreimer, the group's associate director, pointing toward E1's hilltops while leading local and foreigner observers on a tour of the barrier's development.
"By creating this huge bubble, it creates new boundaries that prevent us from eventually getting to a two-state solution."The significance of E1 and the bridge it would create between Jerusalem and Maale Adumim can be understood in the context of the checkerboard of Israeli and Palestinian population centers in Jerusalem and the West Bank.
Palestinians fear that development of E1 will further constrain movement and make it impossible for the West Bank portion of a state-to-be to have territorial integrity and access to East Jerusalem.
On the Palestinian side, one hears about the almost 700,000 Israeli settlers’ making annexation an established fact; on the Israeli side, about preventing recalcitrant Palestinian terrorists from firing missiles at Ben-Gurion Airport.Israel annexed East Jerusalem, part of Jordan until the Six Day War in 1967, and built Jewish neighborhoods beyond the "Green Line" that divided the two countries.But the Arab population of East Jerusalem never took Israeli citizenship.East Jerusalem Palestinians and West Bankers have been closely tied, with regular travel between Jerusalem and other cities for commerce, education, and health services.The wall and a growth of checkpoints has made such travel increasingly difficult.